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What Is A Fair Price For Medical Marijuana?

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marijuana greedMarijuana is medicine. That is a phrase that I use a lot, and I use it because it’s true. It’s a fact that marijuana opponents try as hard as they can to deny, to the point that they do whatever they can to prevent research from occurring that proves that marijuana is medicine. If they weren’t afraid of the truth, and truly felt that marijuana does not possess medical value, than they wouldn’t have a problem with research because after all, it would prove them right once and for all. However, marijuana opponents are obviously wrong, which is why they try so hard to maintain the status quo.

The knowledge that marijuana is medicine is great, but for patients it’s only as good as the access in their area to medical marijuana. Knowing that something out there can help you is no good if you can’t actually obtain it, use it, and benefit from it. In a majority of states in America, there is no safe access to medical marijuana at all. Those states do not allow medical marijuana in any form, and even in some states that do (mainly CBD-only states), there is no where to legally obtain it.

Some states have medical marijuana programs, and have dispensaries, but the list to qualify to be a patient is short, and the number of dispensaries to serve the qualifying patients is even shorter, such as in New Jersey. There are of course other states that do have medical marijuana, do have dispensaries, and qualifying as a patient and finding a dispensary is not difficult (such as in Oregon, California, Colorado, etc.). Even in states like this, safe access to medical marijuana is elusive to some patients because of one other big factor – price.

Chances are if you have visited enough dispensaries in states that allow a lot of them (or at least tolerate them even if they aren’t technically allowed) you have noticed that price gouging is common. This effectively blocks safe access to a lot of patients, even though safe access is allowed in a state. For obvious reasons, this is wrong. I get that people need to make money because after all, it’s a business. But the medical marijuana industry should be about compassion too, and making medical marijuana un-affordable to patients that need it the most is heartless.

The desire to spread compassion should be a higher priority than the desire growing a pile of money in the medical marijuana industry. Otherwise the medical marijuana industry isn’t any better than big pharma. Again, that’s not to say that people need to be the Nicola Tesla of cannabis, but it does mean that there needs to be a balance. One of my biggest pet peeves is medical marijuana industry members that tout their love of patients anytime someone asks about it, yet they charge the highest prices in town.

One trend that I see popping up more and more, thank goodness, is dispensaries creating compassion funds. People can make donations to the fund, and if the dispensary is legit they contribute to the fund in a meaningful way too, and the fund is used to help patients with a great need but that are low on funds. Canna and the City in Portland, Oregon is one dispensary that comes to mind that has a compassion fund, and I commend them. More dispensaries should be doing it, and I encourage TWB readers to only frequent dispensaries that do.

What do TWB readers think is a fair price for medical marijuana? Keep in mind that there needs to be a balance. In a perfect world medical marijuana would cost very little, but that would result in dispensaries closing down because they can’t pay their bills, so there obviously has to be a balance. At what price point does medical marijuana go past the realm of compassion into the realm of greed?

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58 Comments

  1. “What is a fair price for “Medical” Marijuana?
    First one must define all terms:
    What is the definition of “Medicinal*”?
    What is considered “Fair”? To the patient? The producer? The merchant? The government?

    My basic definitions utilized here are:
    1)*High grade “medicinal” is defined here as Cannabis grown “fully Natural” and per legal definition “Organic” by an educated experienced professional with the intent of producing
    an end product to be utilized Specifically and Only in treating any and all Cancers.
    I am not interested in any other application here; medicinal much less ‘recreational’.

    2) “Uncontaminated” is defined as No herbicides, No pesticides contacting the plant; none; no traces, period. No chemical/physical degradation in quality, or abnormal heavy metal content, mineral or organic chemical poisonous substances regardless of origin that could survive and taint the classic botanical extractive process End-product.

    3) “Fair” to the prices charged the most vulnerable members of society; those suffering Cancer tumors and fighting for their lives, Not out making ‘expendable’ monies to buy a grossly inflated ‘recreational product’ but a life-saving critical medication.
    So you decide what is meant by a “Fair” price for a lifesaving “Medication”: taxed or not; profit or not. Patient friendly or not.
    Answer:
    My two phase answer: $7.50 per ounce: $120 per pound: $265 per kilo.
    Production and harvest costs only; with No taxes or profit margin, No post-harvest processing costs. No ‘handling’ or ‘middleman’ costs.
    But of course, in this pathetic, greed-driven society all ‘products’ especially lifesaving “Medicinal”, must produce a huge ‘profit’ to all involved bottom feeding parasites by definition
    (of capitalism) hens my answer is:
    $10.00 per ounce: $160 per pound; $350 per kilo.
    Which includes a profit margin of 25% per ounce (30 gram) for high grade ‘medicinal’* female Cannabis inflorescence ready for extractive processing.
    My calculations do Not include:
    Any costs associated with utilized farmland.
    Any ‘taxes’ or further ‘profit’ by other entities such as
    doctors, facilities, middlemen, corporations, etc.
    Any post-harvest extractive production costs
    My calculations Do include:
    All soil work, specifically all amendments; in other words; all ‘growing’ (farming) costs.
    All transportation, equipment costs, harvesting, drying, processing costs.
    My time as a trained, highly experienced professional at $50.00 per hour.
    Again: my Value of $10.00 per ounce for medicinal cannabis includes;
    A profit margin of 25%: $2.50 per ounce cost to the consumer.
    All growing, harvesting, and processing production costs.
    A living wage for a highly experienced and educated producer of $50.00 per hour labor.

    Recognize this price? This is what I used to pay for bulk “Acapulco
    Gold” in the early 70’s. Even at this price this is a severe financial burden
    to any Cancer Patient because Extractum Cannabis Indicia at the dose needed to
    actually impact cancer lesions is in the grams per day amounts over extended
    time spans; this is the equivalent of ingesting (Not smoking) several ounces of
    raw, bulk high grade Cannabis flowers per day!

    Bona fidies;
    I hold:
    3 science degrees; including tens of credits in horticulture/botanical studies at a Big Ten University
    500 hour greenhouse/horticulture certificate from the United States Department of Agriculture.
    40 years of experience growing “medicinal grade”, “Fully Natural”, “Organic per legal definition” Cannabis in the upper Midwest.

    I have: suffered from 3 bouts of Primary Liver Cancer and utilized my landrace’s extraction product to stop the growth of the last lesion.
    Mayo Clinic is studying my case currently to determine if Cannabis therapy did
    indeed impact the growth rate of PLC.

  2. jasen joseph hylbert on

    In the United States there are various growing climates with complimentary alternating growing seasons (not to mention greenhouses). Dairy and meat products are constantly produced all year round. Some foods have long storage lives. Sometimes it seems as though food prices do fluctuate like gas prices… Obviously food shortages and high food prices in the modern world are results of misallocation of government resources to do things like creating artificial scarcity of herbal cannabis. This hempseed protein powder I consume has a very long storage life.

  3. 25 Corn plants are worth about $ 4.50 …
    1 Cannabis plant is worth about $ 6,400 …

    What is a fair price for Corn… Should be the real question.
    That’s 4 dollars and 50 cents for growing 25 Corn plants… That’s 450 shinny pennies…

  4. $50.. An oz.. For medical patients.. $75-125 an oz. For anyone else.. You would make money hand over fist! With the opinion of home grown! Indoor or outdoor.

  5. Yeah.. I’m sitting here in Pennsylvania.. Holding my breath that Ohio was going to do the right thing on so many levels with legalization of at least the medical part.. Ohio is so much closer than Colorado or Oregan.. But nooooo..! Why?! Why?! Why?!

  6. Massachusetts. Allows you to grow indoors,”For personal use” if your a marijuana patient. Verry vague,,, the lawfull limit of medicine 10 oz. You may purchase 5 oz monthly…..can I grow with someone? Can I have a co-op with some folks that have similar medical needs? What about my spouse. Can we possess more? ……..it’s time to end probation..

  7. Fools are all trying to harvest the hydrogen out of water for fuel…
    Water (H2O) <– 2 Hydrogen molecules.
    But,
    THC (C21H30O2) <– 30 Hydrogen molecules.

    Gasoline (C8H18) <– 18 Hydrogen molecules… <— Supposedly excellent fuel with a high energy density.

  8. It’s all usable, if you look at paper production, the wood is first reduced to a pulp. And this is where we need to focus our attention. We could seriously reduce our dependence on wood for paper production by using hemp fiber. We’ve already missed out on 70 years of growth in this area. We need to restore commercial farming of cannabis. The buds would just be a little bonus for the farmer.

  9. I’m not talking politics, I come from a long line of farmers. Commercial farming requires tons of different seed varieties. You need the agricultural facilities that specialize in seed production.

  10. That’s true, current hemp varieties put more energy into stalk growth. But we haven’t begun to develop the varieties needed for a three commodity crop. Current yields for hemp are around 5 tons (dry weight) of fiber per acre. Even with such high fiber characteristics, if bud weight is only 10% of fiber, you would be looking at 1000 lbs of buds per acre. And with current farming costs of $1000.00 per acre, farmers could overwhelm demand very quickly.

  11. saynotohypocrisy on

    Thanks for the reply. If you don’t mind a novice question, is fiber length important for all uses of hemp, or only for some uses?
    Do you have a view on whether dual purpose hemp is viable?

  12. saynotohypocrisy on

    You and HellNo are both saying outdoor pot should be very inexpensive. I’m encouraged by your comments.

  13. HAHAH… Tell that to Chuck… the Head of the DEA that thinks the leaves are the most potent medicine…

  14. Connecticut laws are the worst that I have seen… they are not about ‘health’ or ‘medicine’ or ‘Cannabis’ in any way… They are about $$$.

    Growers are not required to get a Nursery license…
    Requiring a Nursery license prevents massive outbreaks of spider mites, fungus, molds, gnats… the outbreaks have been seen in every state that’s legalized it… No state has required a Nursery license, yet.

    The $2 mill is for what would basically be a corporation… large scale production… There is no fee for growing for up to 3 people.

    Connecticut set it up to be wildly exploitable by ‘the right people’…

  15. I wouldn’t waste one single research dollar on any Texas university. TX has some of the most draconian anti-cannabis laws in the US.

    Support schools in states where the right to medicate / recreate is recognized.

    Oregon State, UC-Davis, Oaksterdam just to mention a few.

  16. $50- $70 1/8th here in ohio. The mids are cheap but moldy. Wish it woulda passed here but ooohhhh nooooo

  17. There are some tradeoffs to consider. Increased fiber length is the result of longer internodes and less lateral branching, which in turn means fewer flowers produced.

  18. You should be able to go to the farmer’s market and buy a grocery sack full of fresh buds for a couple dollars. Cannabis is an agricultural product once sold by the ton. Prohibition created this discussion about fair pricing for a gram. It’s the same commodity, only people’s perceptions have changed.

  19. Glad they wanted to keep the established cartels out of the game.
    No ‘legitimate’ startup company has 2 million bucks for an entrance fee… They must know this.
    In Montana and Colorado, the federal banks claim that they are unable to touch any money that is tied to the Cannabis industry.

    They close your bank account if your money smells like Marijuana, if you own a Marijuana based business…
    I’m gonna have to look into how they can do Escrow accounts for Cannabis based businesses in Connecticut!

  20. $100 goes to the state, and depending on which doctor you see, another $100 or so to them. CT is basically the embodiment of what Ohio would have looked like if they passed their bill. Just to submit an application to be a producer in the state garnered a fee of $25,000 non-refundable. Also, you needed $2 MILLION in escrow to apply.

  21. Without all the cultural bias against marijuana, I should be able to go to Walgreens and pick up my prescription at the drive thru window. It should be covered just like most other medicines that are prescribed by my doctor. In Oregon, cheap medical marijuana is $5-$6 a gram. Instead, you can order feminized seed online and plant seedlings on May 15 above a hole with a bag of organic compost dumped into it. Grow your own medical marijuana organically and bring down the high prices of medical cannabis. By Sept. 15, you can throw pounds of giant buds into the yard debris can because you have more than you would ever smoke in a year. No chemicals needed with the watering. If you only keep the legal 8 ounces and your seeds and fertilizer were $65, the cost is just under 30 cents per gram. Oregonians can grow 4 plants per residence even for recreation. Patients have to pay $200 for a legal medical marijuana card in Oregon. It’s the poor who suffer the most from the high price of medicine. It’s wrong.

  22. Now you’re in a realm that you know nothing about and should back off from it before you further embarrass yourself!

  23. NASA just blew the climate change out of the water with visual from space showing that the polar ice cap is, in fact, not shrinking but getting larger.

  24. Prime indoor grown medical marijuana bought in dispensaries in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area is seldom over $200 per ounce. The one I frequent charges $195 an ounce and they typically have 40 to 50 different strains that you can mix & match quarter ounces equalling your ounce if you wish. How can Joe Average Grower compete with that? Growing it outside yourself will bring the price down but apparently not everyone can or would do that. So with all the weed available around here through many different sources, the honest FAIR MARKET price for prime weed seems to be at that $150 to $200 an ounce level. Go to Craig’s List Seattle and type in MMJ and prepare to be amazed. Oh and so far I’ve only been in one recreational sales outlet and compared to the many dispensaries I’ve been to they (the rec stores) can’t quite compete…yet though their prices are falling into friendlier territory. Did you hear about the $79 ounces (is that a “fair price”?) they’re advertising as one drives south on I-5 into Oregon from Washington state trying to take away Vancouver’s recreational sales and steering those customers into Oregon stores selling much cheaper cannabis?? Judging by the slumping sales in Vancouver (Washington) rec stores that strategy seems to be working. Imagine that…people driving a while further for cheaper weed. Capitalism in action I’d say…

  25. I live in Washington State. They’re in the process of shutting down
    most of the medical dispensaries right now, in favor of medical
    expansions for recreational shops.

    High-CBD marijuana in the
    recreational shops in my area is up to $55 a *gram*. That’ “holy shit
    how the hell am I going to get my medication” prices.

  26. Yeah, the stalks are stripped of vegetation and dried for fiber production. The seed is separated and sold by the ton, mostly for animal feed. The rest is returned to the soil.

  27. It’s all about control.
    When the demand is infinite and constant compared to the supply, the supply is either quickly depleated… or it is controlled.
    Since it takes a few months for crops to grow, and the demand for food is unquenchable and constant every day.
    If it wasn’t controlled, there would plenty of food at harvest time and then before the next crop was ready to harvest, the supply would be depleated.

    As a result, the price of grown food would rise and fall like the price of gasoline.
    This would screw over every product that was made with that grown food, because the prices would have to be constantly calculated for each batch.
    Since we live in a country that is controlled like this, the price of a can of soup doesn’t change a whole lot; and we always have food available.

    Expiration dates have more effect on our food prices than supply/demand do, because we vastly overproduce everything.
    Somehow it is thought to be cheaper and more efficient to make 1,000 cans of soup than it is to make a bowl of soup.
    So we make a million cans of soup and lower our profit margin a bit as it gets closer to expiration time.
    Which is kinda dumb because the farmer works 1,000 times harder to make 1,000 cans of soup as he does to make a bowl of soup.

    Just like money… the demand is infinite, the rent is always adding up, there is a constant need/demand.
    Basic control mechanism.

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